Star Alliance wants to see more of its members adopt dynamic pricing on seats booked using frequent flyer points or miles, with the eventual aim of opening up every seat on every flight across every member.
Rather than airlines making just a handful of seats available to purchase with a fixed number of points or miles, the dynamic award model adopts variable pricing based on the same lines as paid commercial fares: the fewer seats that are left and the closer to the date of travel that you book, the more points it will cost you.
Speaking to Australian Business Traveller on the sidelines of this week's IATA aviation summit in Sydney, Star Alliance CEO Jeffrey Goh described dynamic pricing as "a win-win for everybody."
"Generally speaking, from a customer perspective you can prove more availability for customers and a better experience (and) from an airline perspective, clearly there are revenue options to this but also getting miles off your books, which accrue over the years as a liability."
Goh admitted that a barrier in this is that some airlines will hold back reward seat inventory, including among Star Alliance partner airlines, describing restricted redemption availability as "generally a problem within the industry, not just across the alliance."
"But almost half of our membership today offer dynamic redemption, so the question is, can we rise to the challenge of dynamic redemption across the alliance? That's certainly something we want to be investigating."
"Once you enter into that particular sphere, availability becomes much more dynamic which will then open up more inventory for this purposes. So we are aware of the issue, and this is one of the things we are looking at to see if we can implement."
"It will be a challenge because not all of (the member airlines) have that functionality today, but many of them do."
Goh also revealed that Star Alliance is looking at adding "one or more levels" above its current top-tier Gold status.